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A Keyboard in my Crib: College Admission Essay Sample

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(Note: This was for an undergraduate transfer application.)

My musical journey began innocently enough, in my infancy, with a toy keyboard placed in my crib as a diversion. Though I would not begin formal instruction on an instrument for several more years, this simple gift from my grandmother was enough to pique my interest in all things musical. By the age of four, I was begging for piano lessons; at five, I finally received them. My first recital performance, featuring one of my own compositions, came at the age of six, and the experience of premiering my own work (albeit a very short work) was unforgettable. I knew at that point that my future career would involve music—though the specific area I would pursue within that field would not be determined for a dozen more years.

It was at the University of Michigan, at the start of my undergraduate career, that I found music theory as the ideal expression of my talents in composition, teaching, and writing. I began tutoring other students during my sophomore year, after the first-year professors noted that some of their students could benefit from extra study. I soon found myself tutoring up to ten students per semester—from first-year students to doctoral candidates preparing for theory preliminaries—all of whom commented enthusiastically on my clear, comprehensible teaching style. The pride I felt with each “A” on an exam, each new concept mastered, or even simply a confidence boost on their part, contributed to my realization that I was definitely pursuing my ideal career. My first experiences with original research and analysis, though at first daunting, ultimately proved to be fascinating and satisfying as well. The flexibility of my undergraduate music theory program has allowed me to gain experience in various facets of the field, something that I believe will serve me well in the future.

My long-term goals include graduating with a Ph.D in theory and then securing a professorship at a university or college with an active music program, one where I can engage closely with students and help them discover the relevance of music theory within their own fields of study. Additionally, I would like to involve myself with, or even create, a preparatory music theory and composition department within an existing preparatory performance program offered by a college or university, since such instruction was quite limited in my own preparatory piano program. My main research interests will most likely involve pedagogy and the integration of composition into the standard theory curriculum; however, I also hope to discover other interests and specialties during my upperclass and graduate studies. In a highly esteemed music theory program such as Indiana’s, I know that regardless of the interests that I develop, someone on the faculty will have the expertise and dedication to assist me. I am excited to find out what the future has in store for me as I pursue my Bachelor’s of Music degree, my master’s and eventually my Ph.D in music theory.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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A Keyboard in my Crib: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 27, 2023, from
“A Keyboard in my Crib: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2018,
A Keyboard in my Crib: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 May 2023].
A Keyboard in my Crib: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 13 [cited 2023 May 27]. Available from:
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